Spring on the CDA

Sean Visintainer - 05/13/19

North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene is a premier dry fly fishery in North Idaho for Westslope cutthroat trout.


A little motivation for you on the beautiful Monday. Spring on the NF Coeur d'Alene is an excellent time to be on the water. Bug hatches are at their best, flows are healthy, flowers are blooming, temps are wonderful, the big cutthroat of the Coeur d'Alene are active.

I'll admit, I get burnt out on the Coeur d'Alene River after a bit, especially once the Spokane River and other larger systems start to get prime and water levels get skinny. However, there is something special about the Coeur d'Alene River this time of the year. It's one of the best early season fisheries and on average produces some of the bigger cutthroat around.

I was out on the North Fork Coeur d'Alene last Friday and while we didn't have the most banner day every, we had caught some very nice cutthroat, lost a few exceptional cutthroat and had a very relaxing day on what is certainly one of the most special river systems in the region.

Many of us cut our teeth on the North Fork river, probably due to its relative location to Spokane and Coeur d'Alene as well as it's abundant access points. For me I spent many fishing trips in my youth on this river system, convincing my dad to drag me up there for an afternoon and then eventually when 16, driving myself and buddies up for countless adventures chasing westslopes.

Perhaps fishing here reminds of those times. Times before adult responsibilities (also known now as "adulting") reduced fishing trips and life was a bit more carefree. Perhaps it reminds me of old fishing buddies that have moved on, or are no longer with us. Whatever the reason though, the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River is a special place that I feel is home-water, as I'm sure it is for many of you too.

Taylor McCroskey holds a fine cutthroat on the NF Coeur d'Alene River in Idaho caught on a stonefly dry.
A Pale Morning Dun Mayfly rest on the side of the Adipose Flow Skiff along the Coeur d'Alene River.
A typical cutthroat ready to be released by Taylor McCroskey on the North Fork Coeur d'Alene River.